Letter: Kaitlyn Brooks

Editor: Day after day kids across the world, are living in pain. They wake up, and all they want to do is get out of their house, and away from the people who make their life so miserable. These people that are ruining these children’s lives are child abusers. According to infobaselearning.com the estimated number of possible child abuse cases investigated by the United States Child Protective Services each year is six million (“By the numbers: Child Abuse”).

This statistic is simply astonishing. One kid being abused is far too high of a number, let alone six million. These children are helpless, and are too scared to do anything about it. They may be sexually harassed, physically abused, or verbally abused, but no matter what type of abuse is happening to these children it needs to stop now. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to wait one more second knowing that there’s a little kid out there, living a life filled with pain and agony, when all they want is love. It’s something that a lot of people don’t like to discuss, but it needs to be discussed.

Children are weaker than adults since they are still growing so they are considered “easy targets.” Children like myself need to be safe, and feel comfortable in this world, but that can’t happen if there are people out in the world abusing right and left. Since I am a child, who has never been abused, I am very thankful, but also very scared for the predators and abusers that lie hidden in households in this very state. I feel like it’s important for me to speak for those afraid to speak, and try to put an end to this, because I want as little kids as possible to have to go through a childhood of suffering. It doesn’t just happen when they get older either, child abuse can start at the age of a newborn all the way up to a teenager.

Infobaselearning.com explains that 80 percent of abused children are under the age of three (“By the Numbers: Child Abuse”). Three year olds can barely even speak full sentences, let alone kinds younger than three. These children need a voice, and we need to be that voice for them.

Unquestionably, this issue is very important, because some kids can’t defend themselves from being abused.

They are small, weak, frightened, and afraid of what might happen if they tell someone. Organizations like thinkprogress.org states things including “That’s why abusers tend to prey on very young and vulnerable children.

The power dynamic is intentional, and it works” (“Why our Society has Trouble Believing Victims of Child Abuse”). Child abusers want a victim they can snatch with the snap of a finger and they pick … kids. These children don’t know where to go, or who to tell, and we need to help them before more and more are put under the harsh life that comes hand in hand with abuse. We need to tell kids that it’s ok to speak up, because if we don’t then this will never end.

Child abuse is similar to the safari. There are the lions and the gazelles. The lions are strong and powerful (like the abuser), and the gazelles are timid and less strong (like the children). The lion tries to overcome the gazelles, usually accomplishing the task, but sometimes the gazelles escape. This is what happens with child abuse. There are some programs put in place out there that support the children, and try to help them “escape” from the lion.

Sadly, there are still many children out there who are in desperate need of help. According to galegroup.com places like community centers, respite care centers, and organizations help to address circumstances that put families at risk for child abuse (“Individuals, can Help Reduce Child Abuse and Neglect”). Organizations, community centers, and respite care ‘centers, help some children find safety and help, but I think that we can develop something even more effective while still keeping these programs.

To help address the child abuse issue I would like to implement a program starting in elementary school that educates children on abuse. This program can be implemented into Family Life Education or Health classes. Some parents may not want their children to be exposed to this information so there will be an option to opt out of the program if need be. Child abuse is a very pressing and serious issue, so I personally think that all kids should be educated on this subject: but that’s really up to the parent. The children wouldn’t be going into detail on the subject, but they would just be told about different types of abuse, and that they should always tell someone if they are experiencing any abuse whatsoever. I am a child, and still feel like I was not educated properly on topics such as sexual abuse, and physical abuse. These little kids that are being abused are scared to tell anyone because they are ashamed and fearful that they will get in trouble. Us as citizens of Loudoun county need to help to educate those around us on this issue, and our hardest to stop it in its tracks. If you see something say something! I know it sounds like a cheesy phrase, but it really is true. Galegroup.com writes, “Child abuse and neglect affect children of all races, ages, and incomes” (“Individuals can Help Reduce Child Abuse and Neglect”). As the previous source stated, child abuse happens to all sorts of children, even in our county, so we need to let these kids know what is classified as abuse and that they need to speak up.

Furthermore, this issue is still present across the world, because some people don’t believe children when they tell them that they are being abused, and many cases go unreported because the children don’t tell anyone. Another reason is that they believe that the child may say that they are being abused just for attention. thinkprogress.org wrote “kicking off a debate about whether children frequently lie about being abused, and whether the people who say they’re victims of sexual crimes can ever be trusted” (“Why our society has trouble believing victims of child abuse”). Although this is a valid point, I still believe that we have to have faith in children when they tell us that they have been abused. would you rather believe the child and try to get them help, or not believe the child, and risk them being seriously hurt on the inside or out? I personally would rather have a little faith in the child.

Child abuse needs to be resolved, and I believe that with my idea, child abuse could be significantly lessened. So many children are still being abused today, and I think that it’s time that we really try to resolve this issue to the best of our ability. Galegroup.com also wrote about how many reported child abuse cases have an end result with little or no change implemented in the child’s situation (“Overview-Child Abuse”). Hearing that many reported child abuse cases sometimes result in no change breaks my heart, because I truly believe that every child deserves the chance at a happy life. We need to do something fast, and I don’t want to wait a day knowing about all the children living in brutality. Children need love, children need hope, so let’s give them what they need.

Kaitlyn Brooks, Harmony Middle School

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